My reviews and report. ETA Team Wear

I came home from an overnight trip to Toronto with a cold. :( The consolation is I also came home to some boxes! :) 

The good news: Most of what I ordered works! 

The bad news: The price of it all. :)

I stocked up on bras and undies as I always do, but won't model those. :)  All worked well. Thanks to Kkards for the suggestion to try the Chantelles -- I like them. 

For the clothing, one of my goals was to increase the representation of red in my closet. I ordered the Halogen cardigan and kick flares. The cardigan is, as Angie reported, very lightweight, and on its own would not make a good winter sweater. But or spring and fall, or layered over a more substantial knit top, it will work well. The pockets don't sag as much on me as in some of the photos, though they do sag a little bit. It's not expensive and adds some punch. 

I love the kick flares. They fit more or less like leggings up top on me in this size, and do make me a bit self conscious about my thighs, but even so, I enjoy them, and almost prefer the red to the black -- somehow the red seems to go with the kick flare style and make it extra fun. I might even bring them on a trip I'm going on tomorrow where temps may be variable and a warmer pant might come in handy. 

Next up, the CoH Cara jeans and the Cece bell sleeve top. The jeans are going to be my new favourites. They are ankle length on me. They are high waisted -- they come up to my navel. I love the CoH denim -- it is cotton rich with a bit of stretch -- and this is a nice dark wash. 

The bell sleeved top is a gorgeous colour for me, which doesn't quite show in the photos due to the light. It's nothing extraordinary but it's fun and not expensive. I haven't had any sleeve detail clothing yet during this trend and this will be a nice way for me to enjoy it. The sleeves are not too long, as sometimes happens for me. 

Scarves: I'm keeping the very inexpensive BP grey and white. Love it. I am sending back the Kate Spade and the Halogen Vintage blooms. The Vintage blooms is nice quality but a bit too twee for me, and the Kate Spade is pretty but the fabrication is not worth the money, IMO. 

Next, the fun BP crushed velour tee. LOVE this! It will be so much fun to wear. And later it will make excellent loungewear. 

Boots! The Aquatalias actually work on me -- not too tall at all! Whoo hoot!! They are a lovely boot and it will be fun to tuck into them again after several years of mostly wearing booties. 

Earrings -- love these delicate everyday silver earrings. 

Hoxton jeans -- these came from Canada and are going straight back. First, they sent the wrong ones -- without hem detailing. Second, I would have liked another size up anyway. Third, I find the fabric too soft (I like a bit more structure in my denim). Fourth, they charged me $285 CAD (i.e. not the sale price!)

I apologize for the light. The light comes in from behind and I try to adjust for it, but it's not ideal, so the colour representation is not always perfect and the shots are not the best. 

ETA: It's a cool evening so I wore the new red sweater out to supper with DH and brother! Total love. 

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Burberry coat

When you get a moment, Angie, can you tell us something about this Burberry? 

I hope to replace/ upgrade my old VC mixed-media military style peacoat which has been a total workhorse for me. This is far more than I expected/ planned to spend, but I know from experience that when it comes to this type of coat, if it is the right item, I'll wear it for a decade or more. 

Visually, this ticks a lot of my boxes. I am not sure it's in the budget, but I'd like to know if it is worth considering at all. 

Thank you! 

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(Almost) Last of the NAS: Chelsea 28s, Halogen kick crops, Bobeau cardigan

My parcel from the US arrived and I have to say, it has been an incredible NAS for me. Between the higher end "thoroughbreds" and probable workhorses that I got from within Canada, and the basics and store-brand stuff that I got from the US, I have pretty much covered my wardrobe needs in many categories this fall. (That will teach me...I actually thought I wasn't going to find anything when I looked at the pre-sale offerings the first day they opened for viewing!!) 

I refreshed my underwear and activewear capsules. I really like the Zella top that I think Una also has.  I got the Zella live in leggings to try for gym/ runs. The Chantelle bra fits and I cut the tags but I wasn't loving it after a day of wear. I think my next bra purchase will be in-store. In the meantime, this will do in place of my old worn ones. 

I love the Halogen sleeveless scrunch neck and wish I got a few more. I also got the DKNY watch that Angie has. (Not on sale). I love it. I need to get some links removed from the band before I can wear. 

Up for review/ consideration (although I am inclined to keep unless someone tells me I am foolish): 

Chelsea 28 denim culotte, Halogen ankle crop, Bobeau cardigan. 

The Chelsea 28s are high waisted on me (to my belly button) and longer than on the model. They are stretchy. Usually I don't care for that in a jean, but in these I quite like the slight girdling effect. I think they make me look wider than I am and probably shorter than I am, although part of that is the camera angle. (My daughter had borrowed the tripod and didn't put it back the way I had it.)

They're super comfortable. I've semi-tucked the top in a few photos to show how high they come. I'm showing them with a few potential early fall and later fall footwear options -- cage sandals, Zara sock booties, my trusty Stuart Weitzman chelsea boots (one on one foot, one on another!) and the new Aquatalias. 

If I keep these -- -- are they too long? If I chop them, I lose the fun hem detail and much of the dramatic flare, and I might lose wearability as well, although if I could use with knee high boots, perhaps not. And how does one style them? With what would I wear them? (DUH, I know, go back and read some of Angie's blog posts. I will, I promise!!) 

Halogen kicks -- Oh beautiful travelling pant, where were you all the years I was travelling once per month? Sheesh, these are a brilliant fabric for the price!! Gorgeous quality!! Perfection for my winters. 

So. In my regular size they are on the snug side. Not too tight (I hope) although I would have liked to try a size up for comparison. (Should I try? It's a big hassle.) In these photos you see the difficulties of a short pant on short-legged me. They make me look shorter. So styling them in a tonal way will be helpful. If I keep. (Tell me if I should not). Again -- should I hem? If I do, they will definitely lose wearability in my winters. At this length they will work with a higher shaft bootie because they just barely "close the gap." 

Bobeau cardigan. I know that several of you were displeased with this piece but for my purposes it is perfection. I got it as a loungewear item, in lieu of a robe. And it is seriously cozy, a ridiculously flattering but not easy to find colour, and can even be worn in multiple ways (see example). I even like the raw edge detail. I am in love and almost wish I got another colour as well!! Paired with ponte pants or a soft sweatpant, this is going to be the foundation of my at-home work capsule in winter!! 

It's crazy hot today again so I didn't really make attempts to style. Please use your imaginations if you can. 

I have one final NAS reveal (and it's a biggie!!!) but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow. :) 

Would love your thoughts if you have time. Thank you.

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Vince T-neck

The Vince t-neck in "espresso" (cough cough) arrived. This is the small. The sleeves are really long so I might need to alter. Neck and sleeves not at all tight on me. I could probably have gone with the x-small but better to be on the safe side where drape is concerned. 

It's sort of a bat-wing!! LOVE this style. Always have. I just threw it on over the tube skirt with the booties so you could see how close the "espresso" colours are. 

Keeping unless you tell me I'm an idiot. Worth every penny even at the CAD price. (Not $245 as previously quoted, more like $130 plus tax.) 

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Check in- Canada

Hi, all -- and happy long weekend to the Canadians! Not sure you have a long weekend in the US as we do here? 

I wanted to update you all on the progress of my Canada-side NAS. I also hope that a few more of you check in to report again on your own! Smittie has showed us her beautiful items but it seems my appetite for NAS FAB is insatiable. ;) 

So, here was my method to shop the sale in Canada: 

  • Read Angie's blog post on how to shop the sale and composed a tentative list of items I needed/ was hoping for. 
  • Used my Nordstrom's card to access presale on the website in the US. 
  • Filled up a shopping cart with items under consideration. 
  • Checked with the forum and with Angie to see what looked most promising and get recommendations. 
  • Chose a few higher end items that were HEWIS or on my list plus one wildcard amazing special purchase (the gilet). 
  • Phoned Ottawa store before official sale to ask if they would be carrying these items. 
  • Ordered those they would be carrying, and asked sales associate to order the others from the Vancouver or Calgary store. 
  • Sales associate did so -- but two items arrived not at sale price. 
  • Spoke with sales associate -- she did an immediate price adjustment. 
I am still waiting on one item (espresso Vince t-neck) which yes -- IS on sale and is available in Canada in my size, apparently. They cancelled the order at first but then located the item later on when the SA hunted it down. 

In some ways, I'd say shopping in Canada by phone (at least with pre-sale visibility and Angie's and forum's help) has been easier and probably cheaper than doing the whole cross border thing. The customer service has been excellent, and I've received items that were already reading out of stock in the US. 

Prices were the CAD equivalent (or a bit LESS!!) than US sale prices. Of course I had to pay HST. But I did not pay extra duties, I did not have to travel for a couple of hours and try things on in a dirty lumber supply building, and I did not have to pay for delivery or returns. It came right to my door as promised. 

However, I only ordered my higher end choices this way. I have also ordered smaller items (bras, undies, denim culottes, etc.) through the US site online because I had some US only Nordstrom Notes to use up and I also felt it might get complicated trying to order from different departments when I don't have a pre-existing relationship with any sales associates at Nordstrom's in Ottawa. These items have not arrived yet but I should get them in a week or so. 

Do any of you know if the sales associates are working on commission? Does my SA get some commission for the order? If so, it really was a breeze for her -- I knew just what I wanted, gave her the order in a minute, and wrote back to say everything was fantastic and I was keeping it all. 

I'd love to hear your reports about how things have gone and how it compares to previous sales you may have shopped. 

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R&B Dres arrived: Length question

My apologies for the darkness here; I'm helping my daughter get ready for camp and don't have time for a full photo shoot! :) 

My Dres arrived from Vancouver. Perfect size. Lighter weight and stretchier than my first pair by far but a really nice fit, so I am keeping -- even though they appear to have charged me full price for these. (I'm contacting the SA to see if we can get that sorted.) 

I didn't notice the wrinkling in the front that others spoke about. Or maybe I have a higher tolerance for that? 

These photos are so dark you can see nothing. My question is really about length. Predictably, they are way too long for me. Full length at their cuffed length. Here, I have rolled them up a bunch more times. 

How should I be hemming them? So that cuffed, they are sort of ankle length (as in the stock photo) -- ankle would show with V front booties but tall shaft booties would close the gap? 

In pic 3, one leg is shorter and the other "closes the gap." 

Or should leg show with the higher shaft bootie, too? Mind you, that would be a lot of horizontal lines on my short legs -- and less wearability in my climate, because no way I am wearing bare-leg jeans once it gets truly cold. 

I overexposed so they might be a bit more visible, but I know the quality of the photos is awful. Sorry. 

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BEST Booties EVER!!

I am not sure how this happened, but the Aquatalia booties, which were supposed to arrive to me from Vancouver or Calgary, or from Ottawa via one of those, arrived on my doorstep having come from Watertown, CT. I haven't even received a bill for these, so I have no idea what they are charging me. 

And here is proof positive that one woman's "meh" is another woman's "wow!!" Crazyone was not thrilled with these yesterday; she felt the suede was scratchy and they did not give her joy.

Meanwhile, I put these on and thought, I'm never taking them off! They're that comfy, stable, and a beautiful blue grey that will work with all my clothing. Ankle fit is perfect on me. 

Excuse the terrible unstyled dark photos. I was so excited I had to share right away! 

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Shopping the NAS: Highs and lows

At YLF we are all about high-low style. But we're also about the NAS!! 
And some of us have GREAT experiences with this sale, and some of us have disappointments. 

Most of us probably have a mix of experiences, and possibly different experiences in different years. 

In my first year on YLF I only watched the sale from afar. In my second year I ordered some items, but apart from some camisoles and some VC tube skirts, nothing really worked out. 

In my 3rd year I got serious and went across the border with the indomitable Sveta!! Wow, did we shop!! I came back with some beauties but returned some because they just weren't "me" -- and also left quite a few others in the change room because they didn't fit or didn't suit my life. 

Year 4, Kingston forum member Mona and I conspired to do a little cross border fun together at our "US addresses" (in a lumber supply store). Boy did we have fun trying on jeans in the dirty bathroom!! 

Year 5 I almost sat it out entirely due to grief. (My mother died in the first days of the presale.) But instead  I engaged in a bit of highly successful retail therapy. I actually returned about more than half of my order, but the items I kept were wonderful additions to my closet. 

This year, well, I got my gilet and what else matters? Seriously -- I have ordered a bunch more highly practical stuff that might or might not work, but I am happy with my main purchase. 

How about you? What have your sale highs and lows been -- this year, or in other years? 

Legend:


2012 -- everything went back except the shoes and skirt. I still have the skirt. Donated the shoes in the spring. 

2013 -- to Michigan Sveta and I go!! Keepers in photo 2. Still have the booties. Finally sent the top and skirt on to Anne in Oz after 2 years' wear and still looking good. 

Photo 3 -- Tory Burch dress that I loved but did not keep -- had no call for it. 

Photo 4 -- Tahari jacket I also loved but had no use for. Note the skirt -- my NAS purchase from the previous year!! Also the sandals were an Angie Top Pick. 

Photo 5 -- our boxes. (Some of them.) 

2014 -- Photo 6  -- jacket and jeans acquired in a little road trip with Mona. :)

2015 -- the famous Vince dress (with the booties from 2013) and a cardigan also from the sale and the Franco Sarto booties (also available in this year's sale -- super comfy but a bit wide at the ankle, FWIW). 

2016 -- the Great Gilet!! 

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Unstuffed: Bag scale comparison

As requested, here are some pics of the Minkoff bag unstuffed and filled with my own stuff.  :) 

In the bag: Computer, phone, makeup case, glasses case, keys, journal or book, water bottle, wallet. This is my usual. 

It is another hot day here so I won't go as far as putting on full autumn regalia but I did manage to put on a jacket (as I'd usually carry it with at least that for outerwear) and also for one pic, a coat. 

For comparison, some of my other bags. The blue shopper is a good scale for me but doesn't fit the computer -- it's a summer time bag for going (literally) shopping!! And not much else. 

Colour block tote is what I carry in summer when I need the computer, or the navy Zara backpack, which barely fits the computer but does with a lot of wrangling. This is honestly my most used bag!! I could always get another one of these. :) Much cheaper.  

I used the Le Pliage a lot last fall and winter. I don't like how unstructured it is, though. 

Whether or not I look right with a big bag, I need a big bag. It's that simple. So the question is really what kind. 

Once again, the camera got confused by the Minkoff bag and went out of focus. It must be putting a spell on me.

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Minkoff bag

Now that we are sorted on the gilet, next up is the Minkoff bag. 

Apologies for the quality (or lack) of these photos. My camera went wonky when it saw this bag for some reason, but I think you can still grasp the scale, which is the main thing. 

First, my review. This bag is a lovely soft leather. I love the simplicity of the style, the lack of ostentation. It has inner pockets for phone, etc. The hardware is my preferred silver. The colour "port" is a beautiful purplish-toned burgundy. It would look good with my grey puffer, or my navy pea coat, or (I think) with my grey and black Danier cutaway coat,  (or my gilet, ha ha) but it won't go with my red winter coat. That's okay. It doesn't need to be one bag to rule them all. 

In general, I prefer a more structured bag. My best loved bag is a very structured shopper. But in reality I mostly carry larger totes and my backpack, because I need to carry my computer a lot and most shopper bags are just short of being large enough for that. 

This bag is as big as my totes and it holds my computer. But I feel like it just looks rather large on me. I wonder if I could find an alternative. With Danier sadly gone, my options are now much more limited. Were there any other sale bags that might meet my needs? 

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